07/28/11 — The Secretary General of National Public Safety (Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública, SESNSP) has suspended its release of funds to the Subsidy for Public Security in the Municipalities (Subsidio para la Seguridad Pública en los Municipios, SUBSEMUN). The Ciudad Juárez branch of SUBSEMUN, a program that the federal government sends funds through to municipalities for public security purposes under the condition they they comply with certain standards and regulations, allegedly failed to meet SESNSP’s program requirements and thus provoked the suspension. After initially receiving the SESNSP funds, Ciudad Juárez officials were required to adequately vet and professionalize its police force, which they failed to do. According the SESNSP, “the authorities of this border city [Juárez] have not reported, in terms of complying with the requisites established in the 2010 rules, in three fundamental areas: adoption of a tertiary police model, wage equalization, and the implementation of a professional civil service.” From 2008 to 2010, only a 6% difference was recorded in the professionalization of the elements of the police corporation, and only 145 elements of the police force were trained using funds provided by SESNSP. Before the funds were suspended, Juárez had received 38 million pesos of the 95 to 97 million they were allocated for the year.
Upon hearing the news of the suspended funds, Juarez Mayor Héctor Murguía Lardizábal noted his surprise and thought it was “very interesting” that the decision made by SESNSP was made around the same time as the attempted murder of Lieutenant Colonel Julian Leyzaola by Federal police officers. (Read here for more information on the attack on Leyzaola.) Murguía did, however, acknowledge that the decision may have been made in response to a complaint filed against the city. He promised to check with proper authorities as to their motivations behind the suspension. No matter the reason, Murguía claims that it is “a bucket of cold water to Juárez, a blow.”